Bears News: Eberflus announces several players out against Panthers

Bears News: Eberflus announces several players out against Panthers

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - The Bears are quite confusing. Quarterback Justin Fields is listed as doubtful to play against the Carolina Panthers this coming Thursday (8:15 p.m./Prime Video). However, head coach Matt Eberflus shared that Fields has not been medically cleared to play and rookie Tyson Bagent will once again be the starter. But, Chicago has not ruled out Fields for the game, although Eberflus did provide other injury updates.

“(Fields)’s progressing everyday. He is not medically cleared yet and Bagent will be our starter for this game, and Peterman will back him up,” Eberflus said.

Also out for the game will be (running back Khari) Blasingame, (offensive lineman Nate) Davis, (linebacker Tremaine) Edmunds and (defensive back Terell) Smith.”

This is the first week for running back Khalil Herbert to return from injured reserve. He has been a full participant in practice. However, it is still unclear whether he will be activated to play against the Panthers.

Eberflus explained that the Bears have a lot of running backs, and because of how well D’Onta Foreman is playing, Herbert may not be activated because of roster spaces.

“It’s always a good problem to have when you have options like that. So, D’Onta’s had a good couple of weeks, and so has the rest of the guys,” Eberflus said. “So, we’ll decide where it goes in the next couple of hours.”

For Bagent, this will be his fourth game as the starting quarterback. There have been many positive things but also a lot of things that need to be improved. Coming from a Division II school, he has admitted that there has been an adjustment to the level of competition between college and the NFL.

But, he believes his opportunity to be the starting quarterback has allowed him to grow more as a quarterback.

“I feel like this opportunity has allowed me the chance to grow at an extremely rapid pace,” Bagent said. “So, I’ve been super grateful for that and I think me, along with some of the coaches I’m with everyday, have kind of noticed little things that I’m able to adjust to that I maybe wouldn’t have been four or five weeks ago.”

One concern for Chicago fans is how different the offense has looked. While tight end Cole Kmet has been getting more involved, wide receiver DJ Moore has been getting the ball less. Moore has been essential for the Bears being successful.

Bagent addressed these issues when talking with the media on Wednesday.

“I am conscious of the fact that DJ (Moore) is our guy, and he’s our X factor. I’ve got to do a good job of getting him the ball. Other than that, I’m playing the play. I’m going through my progressions,” Bagent said. “I’m doing the best that I possibly can in order to move the chains and be successful as an offense. So, that’s probably the only thing that I’m conscious about is that DJ is our guy. If you want to play one-on-one against DJ, you usually should pay for that. As far as anything other than that, Mooney had a great game.”

Going against the Panthers has a little extra meaning for Moore. They traded him to the Bears in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick, which they used on quarterback Bryce Young out of Alabama. Their receiving core is certainly not as strong as it was with Moore, and Chicago is definitely better with him on the team. So, this could easily be seen as a revenge game.

However, according to Bagent, that is not the case.

“(Moore)’s a very competitive guy. So I think for him, he wants to win equally as much every time we touch the field,” Bagent said. “Every time he touches the ball, he wants to score. Every time we go on the field as a team, he wants to win, and I think that’s consistent with everybody in the building. So, same mentality going into this one as every other one.”

This game also has implications for the NFL Draft. Chicago is sitting with Carolina’s first-round pick from the trade for Moore. Right now, Carolina and the Arizona Cardinals are both sitting at just one victory. Therefore, it helps the Bears in multiple ways if the Panthers lose - it boosts their draft capital and gives them a third victory on the season.

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